7 Wonders in Man
- Man is aware about his inevitable death, yet he indulges in laughter and merriment.
- Knowing that this world will come to an end, man still hankers after it.
- Man knows that everything has been predestined yet he laments over the loss of something.
- Man has been warned and has the full knowledge about the fire of hell but he continues to sin.
- Man believes in the Reckoning of the hereafter but still he persists in amassing wealth.
- Declaring his belief in the Unity and Oneness of Allah, yet man remembers others besides Allah.
- Man believes in Jannah but still finds pleasure in the idle pursuit of this fleeting world.
Source: ‘DEATH’ by Husainiyah Publications Estcourt
AsSalaam WaAlaykum WaRehmatullah WaBarkaatuhu
Welcome aboard Fly Air Janazah
When we are leaving this world for the next one, it shall be like a trip to another country.
Where details of that country won’t be found in glamorous travel brochures but in the Holy Qura’an and the Hadiths.
Where our plane won’t be Indian Air Lines, British Airways, Gulf Air or Emirates but Air Janazah.
Where our luggage won’t be the allowed 30 Kgs but our deeds no matter how heavy they weigh.
You don’t pay for excess luggage. They are carried free of charge, with your Creator’s compliment.
Where our dress won’t be a Pierre Cardin suit or the like but the white cotton shroud.
Where our perfume won’t be Channel, Paco Rabane, but the camphor and attar.
Where our passports won’t be Indian, British, French or American but Al Islam.
Where our visa won’t be the 6 months leave to stay or else but the “La Illaha Illallah”. Where the airhostess won’t be a gorgeous female but Isra’iil and its like. Where the in-flight services won’t be 1st class or economy but a piece of beautifully scented or foul smelling cloth. Where our place of destination won’t be Heathrow Terminal 1 or Jeddah International Terminal but the last Terminal Graveyard. Where our waiting lounge won’t be nice carpeted and air-conditioned rooms but the 6 feet deep gloomy Qabar.
Where the Immigration Officer won’t be His Majesty’s officers but Munkar and Nakeer. They only check out whether you deserve the place you yearn to go. Where there is no need for Customs Officers or detectors. Where the transit airport will be Al Barzakh. Where our final place of destination will be either the Garden under which rivers flow or the Hellfire.
This trip does not come with a price tag. It is free of charge, So your savings would not come handy. This flight can never be hijacked so do not worry about terrorists. Food won’t be served on this flight so do not worry about your allergies or whether the food is Halal. Do not worry about legroom; you won’t need it, as our legs will become things of the past. Do not worry about delays. This flight is always punctual. It arrives and leaves on time. Do not worry about the in-flight entertainment program because you would have lost all your sense of joy. Do not worry about booking this trip, it has already been booked (return) the day you became a foetus in your mother’s womb.
Ah! At last good news! Do not worry about who will be sitting next to you. You will have the luxury of being the only passenger. So enjoy it while you can. If only you can! One small snag though, this trip comes with no warning. Are you prepared…..you better be ! Please spread the truth and Insha-Allah our Muslim brothers & sisters will understand and practice the guiding principles, whatever way they can afford to uphold our believe of our religion Islam in this world and in the hereafter.
A Sermon from the Dying to the Living
There once lived in Basrah a prolific and profoundly spiritual worshipper whose fear of the Hereafter caused him to become physically weak, and whose constant crying made him skinny and sick. When he was on his deathbed, his family gathered around him, and they all began to cry.
“Help me sit up.” He said. He addressed his father first: “O my father, what is making you cry?”
“My son,” began his father, “I remembered that I will lose you, and that I will be alone after you die.”
The worshipper then turned his gaze towards his mother and said, “O my Mother, what is making you cry?”
“I am crying because I will soon have to taste the bitterness of losing you,” she said.
He then turned to his sister and asked, “what is making you cry?”
“Because I will soon lose out on your kindness and will consequently have to depend on others for help,” she said.
Finally, he looked at his children and asked, “what is making you cry?”
“The prospect of hard and humiliating life of being orphans after you die,” they said. Now it was his trun to cry. “And what is making you cry?” everyone asked.
“I am crying because I saw that each one of you cried for his or her own self, and not for me, he said. Is there none among you who cries for the long, hard journey I am about to embark upon, and the few supplies (i.e. good deeds) that I have for it? Is there none among you who cries because I will be lying down in dirt? Is there none among you who cries because I will be held accountable (and might have to endure punishment)? Is there none among you who cries because of when I will stand before the Lord of all that exists (for judgement)?” He then rolled over onto his face, when they tried to move him, they realised that he had just died.
Source: Al-Mawa’iz Wal Majalis
What to do upon a Death
By Dr. Abdulhayy ‘Arifi rahimahullah
WHEN SIGNS OF DEATH START SHOWING UP
The blessed Companion Aboo Sa’eed Khudri radiyallahu anhu narrates that the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasallam said, “Prompt the dying among you to say (the kalimah): Lã ilãha illallãh (I declare that there is no god but Allah).” (Muslim)
The blessed Companion Ma’qil Ibne Yasãr radiyallahu anhu narrates that the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasallam said, “You should recite Soorah Yãseen over the dying among you.” (Musnade-Ahmad, Aboo Dãwood, Ibne Mãjah)
IN THE AGONY OF DEATH
Turn the face of the dying person towards the Qiblah. Let him or her make the following prayer, “O Allah, forgive me and have mercy on me and have me join higher companions.” (Tirmizi)
1. Soon after the signs of death become obvious, make the dying person lie on his back with the Qiblah on his right. Turn the face slightly towards the Qiblah, raise the head a little by placing a pillow or some other head-rest, in which case also, the dying person will be considered as facing the Qiblah. But leave the dying person as he is if he feels uncomfortable while being made to face the Qiblah. One should sit down close by and say loudly, “Ash’hadu allã ilãha illallãhu wahdahoo lã shareeka lahoo wa ash’hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhoo wa rasooluh.” (I bear witness that there is no god but Allah. He is One, there is no partner with Him; and I bear witness that Muhammad sallalahu alayhi wasallam is His Servant and His Messenger.) Given his condition, do not ask him to recite the kalimah, for that is a time of great trial – who knows what he might say under stress.
2. After the dying person has recited the kalimah once, leave it at that. Do not try to make him say the kalimah non-stop in an effort to see that he breathes his last whilst reciting it. For, the purpose is simply to make sure that the last words he says should be the kalimah. It is not at all necessary that the recitation of the kalimah continues right through the last breath. However, should he return to the mundane and the ordinary concerns of life, start reciting the kalimah again. When he, taking the cue, recites it, then be silent.
3. When breath loses its momentum and starts heaving faster and legs sag down, unable to stay up and the nose-top turns aside and the temples collapse inwards, take these signs to be the certain knock of death. At this time, start reciting the kalimah in a raised voice.
4. Reciting Soorah Yãseen lightens the hardship of death. Recite it sitting on the side of his head or anywhere else near the body, or ask someone else to do it.
5. At a time such as this, say nothing which may divert his attention to the concerns of worldly life, for this is the time to leave the mortal world and be present in the majestic Court of Allah Almighty. Do say that which turns his heart away from the concerns of the mortal world and diverts it towards the thoughts of his Creator, for it is here that the well being of the dying lies. At a time like this, bringing his children and family members before him, or anyone else he loved most, or to remind him of things or people in a nostalgic manner causing him to be swamped in the thoughts of loves lost, is a terrible thing to do to him. It is not nice that he says farewell to his life in the world so bound by its fond memories.
6. If, at the time of death, some unfortunate remark bordering on kufr (the denial of Faith) escapes the lips of the dying person, feel or say nothing about it. Instead, take it to be a slip of his reason under the stress of approaching death. When man loses his reason, he stands forgiven for his sayings and deeds. Keep praying that Allah Almighty forgives him.
7. When death comes, all concerned should say, “Innã lillãhi wa innã ilayhi rãji’oon” (Surely to Allah we belong, and to Him we are to return) and make the following prayer, “O Allah, help me in my hour of trial and replace it for me with what is better.” (Tirmizi)
8. When death becomes obvious and certain, take a strip of cloth, wide enough to pass under the chin, bring it on to the head, tie a knot, then close the eyes gently and pray, “I begin with the Name of Allah while being faithful to the Religion of His Messenger sallalahu alayhi wasallam. O Allah, make his matter easy on him and that which he is to face after death, and make him the blessed beholder of Thy Sighting, and make that to which he has departed better than what he has departed from.” (Durre-Mukhtãr)
9. Then straighten hands and feet, bring toes of the feet close together and tie them with a strip of cloth. Then, throw a sheet over the dead body and place it on a cot or a flat wooden bunk. Do not leave it lying on the ground. It is advisable to place some weight on the stomach lest it inflates. Allow no impure persons (in need of a bath, including women in conditions that exempt them from offering Salãh etc.) near the dead body. (Durre-Mukhtãr)
Now inform relatives and friends of the deceased so that they can all participate in his funeral prayers.
10. Some incense (such as oblibanum, lobãn or Frankincense), if available, may be placed near the deceased.
11. Reciting the Qur’ãn near the deceased before the washing of the body is not correct.
12. All funeral arrangements including the shrouding of the dead body have to be made very quickly. Start with locating a gravesite and the preparation of the grave. Collect everything needed for the stages of washing, shrouding, funeral and burial.
13. If a person dies on a Friday, it is better to make all arrangements and bury the deceased before the Jumu’ah congregational Salãh. Holding on to the prepared body with the thought that there will be a lot of participants in the Janãzah salãh after Jumu’ah is makrooh (detested). (Shãmi)
LET THERE BE NO WAILING OVER THE DECEASED
It has been related in a Hadeeth that once the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasallam paid a visit to a Sahãbi who was on his deathbed. Seeing him in that condition, the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasallam broke in tears. When people saw him in that state, they too started weeping. He then said to them, “Listen to me O people, and listen well. Allah Almighty certainly does not apprehend the weeping eye and the hurting heart, for a Servant of Allah has no control over these.” Then, pointing to the tongue, he added, “But a mistake made by this, that is, on intentional mourning and wailing, He punishes, and on reciting ‘Innã lillãhi wa innã ilayhi rãji’oon’ (To Allah we belong and to Him we are to return), and on raising hands of prayer and on seeking of His Forgiveness, He bestows His Mercy.” (Bukhãri, Muslim)
KISSING THE DECEASED
After the deceased has been given the required ghusl (bath), it is permissible to kiss the deceased under intense desire to express love or personal devotion as it was with the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasallam when he kissed ‘Uthmãn Ibne Maz’oon radiyallahu anhu and wept. Very similar to this, the noble Companion Aboo Bakr radiyallahu anhu kissed the forehead of the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasallam after his departure from this mortal world. (Zãdul-Ma’ãd)
ALL FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS SHOULD BE SWIFT
It has been narrated that once the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasallam came to visit Talhah Ibne Barã radiyallahu anhu when he was sick. Seeing his critical condition, he said to the people around him, “I feel that the time of his death has arrived. If it does come to pass, I should be informed and funeral arrangements be made with haste, for it is not appropriate that the dead body of a Muslim be left amidst his family members for long.” (Aboo Dãwood)
‘Abdullah Ibne ‘Umar radiyallahu anhuma narrates that he heard the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasallam saying, “When one among you dies, do not keep him in the house for long. Make haste in taking him to the grave and burying him.” (Bayhaqi, Shu’abul-Imãn)
A Good Sealing State: Husn al-Khatima
By Mufti Abdur Rahman ibn Yusuf
The final state of a person at the time of death is what matters in the Hereafter. In this article, we discuss some of the causes for both good and evil sealing states, and how a person’s inner traits will dominate at the time of death.
In a hadith transmitted by Ibn Abi ’al-Dunya in his Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil from Abu Umama (Allah be pleased with him) the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to his Companions (Allah be pleased with them): “How will your situation be when your women become tyrannical, your youth become transgressors and you abandon striving and jihad in the path of Allah?” They asked, “Will that really occur? The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Yes, by the One in whose hand my soul is, something even worse than that will occur.” They said, “What could be worse than that, O Messenger of Allah?”
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said; “How will your state be when you stop commanding the good and you stop preventing the evil?” They said, “Is that something that will occur?”
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “How will it be when you will begin to consider the good as evil, and when you will begin to consider the evil as good?” [They were shocked] and said, “Is that truly to occur, O Messenger of Allah?”
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Yes, of course. Allah says that I swear by Myself that I will spread such a trial in the land that even the wise ones among you could become lost.”
This hadith tells us of a gradual change in perspectives among people as their righteous behaviour diminishes and they eventually confuse what is good for what is evil, leading to a state where even those known for their wisdom have become lost. At present, we are living through, and witnessing, many of the things which the hadith describes. The point to ponder is that, if Allah has not saved us from these evils, then we may already be guilty of considering what is good according to the Shari‘a to be evil, and what is evil according to the Shari‘a to be good.
There is another hadith in which the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “A servant does work like that of the people of Paradise until there is a short distance left between him and Paradise, when the destiny written about him by Allah (May He be glorified and exalted) [through his eternal knowledge] overcomes him, and he perpetrates an act of the people of Hellfire, and thus enters the Hellfire. Then, there are certain servants who do the actions of the people of Hellfire all their life, until there is a very short distance remaining between them and the Hellfire, until the destiny written about them by Allah (May He be glorified and exalted) overcomes them and they do an act of the people of Paradise and thus they enter into Paradise.”
An explanation of this hadith is that some people’s actions are considered evil based on how they are perceived by other people and other people’s actions are considered good based on how he or she is viewed by others. However, there is something hidden inside the individual that eventually overcomes him or her, which is why the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said that what is really taken into consideration is the final sealing state of an individual at the time of their death (innama ’l-a’mal bi ’l-khawatim).
The above hadith indicates that what really matters is husn al-khatima or su’ al-khatima.
Husn al-khatima means a good sealing state, and su’ al-khatima means a bad sealing state.
These terms do not refer to what a person has been doing all life long, or how they appeared to be in the sight of others, but rather to the state that they are in at the time they leave this world, their sealing state. This is why the scholars mention that the evil sealing state is such that, even though a person’s actions may appear to be very virtuous, this evil sealing state occurs due to an inner trait which was concurrent with the good that a person did in front of others. Whilst it was perceived that these actions were good, there remained something inside the individual which concurrently occurred or was a regular habit but which was not expressed in front of others. This inner trait was evil and eventually took over, leading one to commit an act of the people of the Hellfire. Likewise, many people who seem to be disobeying the Shari‘a for long periods in their lives have within their hearts much goodness which has not yet dominated and is just waiting to surface and appear in their external actions. Due to the existence of these good qualities, which are pleasing to Allah (May He be glorified and exalted), a person’s goodness can become dominant before he or she passes away.
The Companions (Allah be pleased with them) knew the system of Allah and therefore always remained concerned, primarily about how they would be viewed by Allah regarding their actions. One of the greatest believers and close Companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him), who is considered the second greatest man after Abu Bakr. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) would often say, “Have I been regarded (by Allah) as a hypocrite? Will I die with an evil sealing state?” He would ask Huzayfa (Allah be pleased with him) if his name was included in the list of the hypocrites that was given to Huzaifa (Allah be pleased with him) by the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). He was constantly worried despite having to his credit so many acts of worship and so many conquests. ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him) knew that the inner dimensions of a person are what matter and not the external, apparent actions; and that one should be content with the former.
Here is a supplication that is commonly known: “O Turner of the hearts, establish my heart on your Din, keep it firm on your Deen. You are the turner of hearts.”
We should ask Allah to keep our hearts sound and firm on the Deen because we do not know how and when things could change, and we could become guilty of being boastful about our achievements and this could be the cause of our downfall. This is why having humility, being humble, is always important.
The great scholars have highlighted a few major causes of a bad sealing state. One of the main causes is intoxicants. This could be of any form, including drinking, smoking or the taking of drugs, because intoxicants can overcome a person’s rationality and can affect one’s ability to focus or to be conscious of one’s actions.
‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Rawwad says, “I was present when somebody was in the last moments of their life. They were being encouraged to say Laa ilaha illalaah, but the person refused to say it. The final statement the person then uttered was: “He is a disbeliever in what you are saying!”
So ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Rawwad enquired about him, and was informed that, although he did not do it in public, this man was given to drinking in small amounts. This is what overcame him in his last moments. It was then that ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Rawwad advised that one must beware of committing any sin as that is what had caused this person to have this ending.
The scholars mention that a sign of a good sealing state is perspiration at the time of death, and another sign is contentment or satisfaction at the time of death, evidenced by a smile on the face of the person despite the way in which he or she has died. An example of this comes from the stories of martyrs, who may have been killed in a gruesome way, but on whose faces can be seen peace and a sense of happiness.
There are numerous occasions where Allah opens up these kinds of states for his pious servants, blessing them with a vision, and making their state apparent to people around them so as to inspire and encourage others to do good because they have seen the person’s life, and now they see their state at death.
It is related about ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak (Allah be pleased with him) that when death was approaching him, the people around him were saying Laa Ilaaha Illallah. ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak looked up towards the heavens and said, “For the like of this do the people work all their life.” He was given an unveiling of what Allah had kept for him in the Hereafter.
The story of ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz (Allah be pleased with him) who was a caliph for about two years and six months, was able to change the whole order and system of the time for the better. At the time of his death, people were gathered around him, and he said to them, “Leave me, nobody should remain here.” Thereafter, the people moved away and sat outside his doors. ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz (Allah be pleased with him) was heard saying, “Welcome to these faces. These are not the faces of the human or jinn.” He then recited an ayah of the Qur’an: “That is the abode of the Hereafter which we designate for those who do not want to cause tyranny or corruption in this world. Well-being is only for those who have the fear of Allah.” Then ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz (Allah be pleased with him) breathed his last.
Allah (May He be glorified and exalted) does not deprive or humiliate his pious servants who have worked hard all their lives to please Allah, neither in this life, nor in the Hereafter. When Allah loves a person, He will place for them acceptance in the world. People will begin to love them.
Anas (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “When Allah intends good for someone, He uses him (or takes him for his service).” The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) was then asked, “How will Allah use him?” The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) replied; “Before death, Allah will give him the tawfeeq (divine Guidance) to do something good.”
In another hadith, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “When Allah wants something good for someone, He will use him.” The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) was asked, “How will Allah use him?” The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) replied, “Allah will inspire him to do a good action, which he will do before his death, so much so that his neighbours and those people around him will become happy with him.”
Regardless of what a person does or who they are in front of, Allah will select a person and desire good for him and give him the ability to do good actions for his Deen before he dies. That action will then be a means of accomplishment and acceptance for the individual in the sight of Allah, and thus he or she will leave this world with a good sealing state.
We must ask Allah (May He be glorified and exalted) to use us for some form of good work for the Deen, regardless of our area of work or profession. One may think that “I am not capable of giving lectures or calling people towards Allah,” or other commonly known deeds that we see others doing. Do not fear. Regardless of your capabilities, ask Allah to open the doors of guidance. Whatever you do, Allah will guide you to some way in which you are able to do some good work that will be the cause of Allah’s being pleased with you and the people being pleased with you as well. If you already have tawfeeq to do good actions, whether this is through da’wah, or benefitting society through some community work, then ask Allah (May He be glorified and exalted) to accept it, make it a truly genuine and sincere, and ask that you be accepted for the service of His Deen.
Allah (May He be glorified and exalted) gives tawfeeq to his pious servants who have strived and worked hard all their lives to please Him and have done service for His Deen, enabling them to do good actions at the time of death. Ultimately what matters is what is going to happen then and how death will arrive. It is important to remember that it is not only the scholars or learned people who are able to achieve this good sealing state. It is not only through preaching or giving lectures that one can be of service to the Deen. There are numerous ways in which we can benefit humanity, things that we can do to assist and make it easier for people to worship Allah. The options are limitless.
May Allah accept us and use us in the service of His Deen.
May Allah make our actions until the end like the actions of the people of Paradise.
May Allah protect us, and forgive us, and may He remove the hidden defects inside us and the hidden and apparent sins.
May Allah give us tawfeeq to recognise virtue and to follow it.
May Allah give us tawfeeq to recognise evil and to abstain from it.
May Allah give us a good sealing state.
And Allah is glorified and exalted.
Transcribed by Yunus bin Yusuf
Edited by Adnan Ashraf
At the face of death
A heart-touching story… learn from it.
This is something that is very personal and important to me. I hope that you will learn and benefit from it. Let me begin by saying “Bismillah.” When I first started University, I had met another Muslim brother. We had become good friends, but this friendship was not like any other ordinary friendship, I would have done anything for him, he was like my real brother.
During our last year of University, this brother of mine announced that he was engaged and that he was to be married after he graduates this year and finds himself a job. I was glad for him and so was he. He talked non stop about getting married, I was sort of getting jealous of him, because the brother had it made for him, finishing school, getting married and especially coming from a wealthy family.
One day this brother was to meet me at the coffee shop. He showed up, but astonishingly he wasn’t smiling and wasn’t talking about his fiancée. I asked him what was wrong, he asked if we could talk somewhere privately and we did. Finally I knew why he was upset. He had told me that he found out that he had a brain tumor which was malignant, which meant it had become cancerous. When he told me the news, his voice was quivering and tears were streaming down his cheeks.
I had never seen him like this before. I tried keeping in my tears and I tried not to show that I was hurt also. I was burning up inside and things were racing through my mind. I kept thinking, how could this have happened? A man who had everything made and had everything perfect. I kept it inside because I did not want him to see me upset.
I saw this brother slowly go down. He had to drop out of school at his last year because he began to lose his memory and he started to repeat himself over again. He did not have a chance at school without his memory. This brother was intelligent, but after, he became lost.
He was told that his fianceés family and her parents did not want their daughter to marry him, because he had no job and basically no future. This was hard for him, I remember he would cry to me about her and how he cared for her and how hopeless he felt.
Later, the brother had problems writing and his right eyesight was fading. The tumor was on the left side of his brain so it affected everything on his right. Because of his memory loss, the brother soon forgot suras and he even forgot how to pray. A year later, his right arm was paralyzed and his eyesight was taken away from him. It was the hardest thing for me to see. The brother I loved so much as going through so much. I began coming over everyday helping him recite suras.
When I was recited sura Fatiha to him and he was slowly repeating after me, I looked at him and I thought, this was the same brother who was so intelligent and was to finish school. This was the same brother who came from such a wealthy family. This was the same brother who talked for days about getting married and raising a family. This was the same brother who had everything. But now he can barely remember what I said to him ten minutes ago, he can’t get married, and now he is struggling to read Qur’an, he was not much of a practicing Muslim so it was harder for him to recite the Qur’an. This man was now turning towards Allah, he dropped EVERYTHING and turned towards Allah. Allah gave him everything, and he could take everything away just as easily.
A month ago, I had received a call saying that the brother passed away and that his janaza is today. I washed his body with a couple of other brothers and I saw his lifeless body. He was buried and after that I returned home. The next day, I sat down wondering to myself about the power of Allah. My brother’s death made me realize that we forget what our purpose of being here is for: To serve Allah. You could have everything, but do you have anything that is important? I spent six years knowing this brother, and caring for him. I never once shed a tear when he was alive and not even when he passed away. But the day after his death, I did cry because I thought about the power of Allah. I thought about my brother. We always say that we will return to Allah, but we never really believe it. If we did, then we would struggle to read the Qur’an and pray to Allah like my brother did.
My brother had his eyesight taken away from him, his arm was paralyzed and his memory was lost, but he still got up every morning and he insisted and I repeat, insisted on reciting the Qur’an. But we are able, but we still do not struggle to read the Qur’an. We do not really believe that we will return to Allah, or else we would struggle for Allah.
My brother had love for materialistic objects, but when death approached him, those things were no use to him because he knew those things were not going to lead him to Jannah without his Iman. Allah can give and take things easily whenever and wherever. I love my brother and I pray that Allah will accept him, and I humbly request that prayer be made for him. I do pray that you have a true belief of Allah and our return to Him because if you do have this fear, you will struggle for your Islam to the best of your ability before you can say it is too late. May we all be rightly guided. Ameen.
The Final Return
My partner and I had parked on the shoulder of the highway and began to chat. In a random second, the scene shattered to the hideous sound of metal bodies becoming one. We threw our heads back to see what had happened: a head-on collision, the result of a vehicle slipping into the lane of the oncoming traffic.You couldn’t describe the carnage. Two young men sprawled in the first car, both in critical condition. We carried them gently away from the car and rested them on the ground.
Quickly we returned to assist the owner of the second car. He was dead. Back we went to the two young men lying side by side on the pavement.
My partner began dictating the Shahadah to them. “Say: La iIaha illAllah (there is no god but Allah), La iIaha illAllah…”
… their tongues wouldn’t acknowledge. They started humming the hypnotic lyrics of some song. I was terrified. My partner had experience however and he kept repeating his instruction.
I stood watching, no movement, eyes locked. Never in my life had I seen anything similar to what was going on before me. In fact, I’ve never actually seen someone die, and never in such a satanic way.
My partner continued to instruct them to say the Shahadah but there was no use. The hum of their song came to a slow silence, slowly. The first one stopped and then the other. Not a stir. Dead.
We carried them to our patrol car, my partner made no effort to speak. Not a whisper between us two as we carried the corpses to the nearest hospital…
The police officer fell back into routine, as he narrates, and started to drift from Allah. But another event happened to him that sealed the return. He continues: … What an odd world. After some time, about six months, a strange accident took place. A young man was moving along the highway normally, but within one of the tunnels leading to the city, he was maimed by a flat tire.
To the side of the tunnel he parked and stepped to the back to remove the spare tire. The whistle of a speeding car from behind. In a second, it collided with the crippled car, the young man in-between. He fell to the ground with critical injuries. I rushed to the scene, myself and another partner other than the first. Together we carried the young man’s body into our patrol car and phoned the hospital to prepare for his arrival.
He was a young adult in his blossom years. Religious, you could tell from his appearance. He was mumbling when we carried him, but in our rush, we had not paid attention to what he was saying. However, when we placed him on his back in the patrol car we could make it out. Through the pain his heart was reciting Qur’an! He was so immersed in the recitation … Subhan Allah, you would have never said that this person was in intense pain.
Blood had soaked his clothes crimson red, his bones had clearly snapped in several places. To tell the truth, he looked like he was staring into the eyes of death. He continued to read in his unique, tender voice. Reciting each verse in proper rhythm. In my entire life, I had never heard any recitation like it. I said to myself, I’m … I’m going to instruct him to say the Shahadah just like I saw my friend doing; especially since I had previous experience. My partner and I listened intently to that soft voice. I felt a shiver shock my back and up my arm, the hair stood.
Suddenly, the hymn ceased. I watched silently as his hand rose softly. He had his index finger pointed upward to the heavens, saying the Shahadah (La ilaha illa Allah/There is no god but Allah). Then … his head slumpt. Nothing. I jumped to the back seat, felt his hand, his heart, his breathing. He was dead!
I couldn’t stop staring at him. A tear fell but I hid it in shame. I turned back to my partner and told him that the boy’s life had ceased – he burst out loud crying. Seeing a man cry like that, I could not control myself and my partner faded away behind the fall of my own tears. The patrol car fogged from the emotions.
We arrived at the hospital. As we rushed through the corridors, we told all the doctors, nurses, and onlookers what had happened. So many people were affected by what we said, some stood there speechless and tearful. No one wanted to lose sight of the boy until they had been assured of the time and place he would be buried. One of the hospital staff phoned the boys home. His brother picked it up and was told of the accident.
His brother told us about him: He used to go out every Monday to visit his only grandmother outside of town. Whenever he visited her, he made sure to spend time with the poor children idling the streets and the orphans.
The town knew him – he was the one that would bring them the Islamic books and tapes. His dusty Mazda would be filled with rice and sugar and even candies – couldn’t forget the candies – for those families who were in need.
He would not stand for anyone to discourage him from the long journey to that town. He would always politely reply that the long drive gave him time to review his Quran and listen to Islamic lectures on his cassette deck. And … and that with every step to the town he hoped for the reward he would find with Allah…
It is true, brothers and sisters, that Allah is Merciful and forgives and forgives. [Yet I am quite Forgiving … ] But to whom? [ … towards anyone who turns (in repentance) and believes and acts honorable; then he will be guided.] – Surah Taha 20/82
[O our people! Respond to Allah’s Caller (Muhammad – sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) and believe in him, Allah will forgive you of your sins and will save your from a painful torment.]- Surah al-Ahqaf 46/31
Just like we reply someone’s call when they phone us – this is Allah and His Messenger calling us! Let us answer. There is a verse in the Qur’an that when Shaytaan read it he cried and felt regret. Read this verse, it is the door to our happiness in this life and the next:
[And those who, if they commit an immorality or wrong themselves, remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allah? – and who do not persist in what they have done while they know.]
Allah then continues: [For those – their reward is forgiveness from their Lord and gardens beneath which rivers flow (in Jannah), wherein they shall abide eternally. Excellent is the reward of the (righteous) workers.] – Surah Al-Imraan 3/135,136
Allah sent the Prophets and the books; He sent the warners and glad tiders; and He sent the reminders. And atop all that, Allah comes down to Samaa’ ad-Dunya – in a way befitting of His Majesty – in the third portion of the night – every night – calling to every one of His servants: “Is there anyone who shall make Dua’ so that I shall accept His Du’a? Is there anyone who shall ask for pardon so that I may pardon him?”
Dear brothers and sisters, let us make a pledge tonight to set our alarm clocks at 2 am in the morning. We all know that if there was some special sports event or someone had to catch a plane at that time they would be capable of waking up. Let’s set the alarm to pray only 2 raka’at to Allah. And in Sajdah, recall just one sin – just one – between us and Allah and ask Allah Ta’ala to forgive us for that sin, pledging that we shall never return to it.
By Aalimah Zafirah Mohammed
Graduate of Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago
All praises are for Allah who has given us life, the air to sustain us and has made us from amongst the best of mankind.
Preparation! So much preparation. Everyday we prepare, either for a ceremony or a special occasion or just for our routine household activities in general. But we forget that there is an inevitable day that is coming. A day which we should be preparing for. A day we neglect to prepare for. When is that day and what time is that day is not known. It is different for each and every person, but it will definitely happen. It is a day in which a person will experience agony and pain more severe than all the agonies ever experienced in this world.
It is narrated in a Hadeeth by Shaddad ibne Aus (RA) that the agony of death is more severe than all the agonies of this world and the hereafter. It is more painful than being sawed in two, being cut into pieces with shears or being boiled in a cauldron. If the dead were to rise from the graves and tell people about the pangs of death, no man would take pleasure in this life, nor could anyone enjoy should sleep.
So much for the pangs and throes of death, besides this, a dying man must also go though the ordeal of facing the angel of death. So horrible is the appearance of Izraeel (AS) when he comes to take the souls of the sinners and the non believers, that the strongest of men cannot bear the sight. Even our dear Prophet Muhammad (SAW) used to seek refuge from the pangs of death saying:
“Oh Allah grant us relief in the throes of death.”
Then who are you and I, my respected Muslims?
Shouldn’t we too seek Allah’s mercy and help from the inevitable and most certain day?
Yes, my readers, it is the agony of death. What preparation have we made for this? Have we forgotten all about it? Allah Al Hakeem, Al Aleem says in the Holy Quraan:
“Every soul shall taste death” (3:185).”
So how can we have any doubts about it? It can overtake us at any moment. Why is it that some of us think that we can hide from death, or climb to the highest tower to escape its approach? Allah, Al Aliyu, (the Most High) says in the glorious Quraan:
“Wherever you are, death will find you, even if you are in towers built up high (4:78)
Luqman, the Wise, once advised his son saying;
“Death is an occurrence of which the exact time is not known to anyone. Be prepared then, to meet death at any time, lest it should take you unaware or unprepared.”
This advice of Luqman (AS) lives on today.
Respected Muslims let us take heed to this advice. Let us not find ourselves in the arms of death in an unprepared state. Let us strive each and every day to prepare ourselves for that inevitable day, the day that is sure to come, our last day on this earth.
The Realm after Death (Barzakh)
It is the belief (‘Aqeedah) of deen that after death, mankind will enter a realm before the day of resurrection, which is known as Aalam-e-Barzakh. There are many sects in Islam who claim to be Muslims but do not believe in Aalam-e-Barzakh.’ This is a grave misunderstanding on behalf of these people. Death is the ultimate reality that no human can escape. It awes people and challenges all of their false claims of deviant beliefs. It puts an end to their hopes for prosperity and success in this life. Once there, they have no way of returning to this life.
Allah say’s in the noble Qur’aan:
“Until, when death comes to one of them (those who join partners with Allah), he say’s, “My lord! Send me back. Perhaps I may do good in that which I have left behind,” Indeed no! It is but a word that he speaks, and behind them is a Barzakh until the day when they are raised up.”
The discussion regarding Al-Barzakh is only based on authentic text from Allah’s book and his messengers Sunnah. It has been mentioned in the Qur’aan and has been established by numerous Ahaadeeth.
Al-Barzakh has two states. A person will either be punished in this realm, which is known, as “Azhaabul-Qabr” or he will receive the blessings and bounties of Allah due to his faith and good deeds, this is known as “Tan’eemu Ahlit-Taa’ah Fil Qabr.”
Majority of the books on six Aqeedah only mention the former state and suffice on that. This is due to the fact that the narration regarding six Azhaabul-Qabr exceeds the narrations regarding Tan’eemu Ahlit-Taa’ah Fil Qabr. Also, due to the fact that there are more people who will be punished in the grave than those who shall receive bounties. It is reported in an very lengthy Hadeeth reported by Ahmed and Abu Dawood on the authority of Al-Baraa Bin Azhib, that they (the companions) when out with Allah’s messenger to the funeral of a man from the Ansaar.
They reached the location of the grave before it was dug. The messenger of Allah sat down facing the Qibla; and they sat around him quietly, as if afraid to disturb birds standing on their heads. He held in his hand, a stick with which he was moving the earth, raising and lowering his eyes three times. He said to them (two or three times), “seek refuge in Allah from the punishment of the grave.” Then he said (three times), “oh! Allah I seek refuge in you from the punishment of the grave.”
From this Hadeeth, we can see that the prophet himself seeked refuge from the punishment of the grave. No human being will be speared from the squeeze of the grave. However, the following Hadeeth indicates that it is not the same degree of severity for all people; some it would be Sa’ad bin Mu’az; however, he was squeezed once then released.” (Narrated by At-Tabrani in Al-Kabir).
However those who will receive the bounties and the mercy of Allah will truly be in the gardens of bliss. Although it is apparent that the best protection against punishment in the grave is to carry the truth belief in Allah and avoid the major sins. There are specific things that are mentioned in the Ahaadeeth that protect a person from the punishment of the grave. These things are as follows: Martyrdom on the battlefield (At-Tirmizhi), standing guard in the way of Allah (Muslim), death caused by abdomen disease (At-Tirmizhi), reciting suratul Mulk (Al-Hakim), Dying on Friday (Ahmed and At-Tirmizhi).
Before the two above mentioned, it states that the person will be approached by Munkar and Nakeer.
Author:(Maulana) Afikul Islam
(Arabic Year 6 – 2001), Darul Uloom London